Roasted Vegetable Medley

Serves 6.

Note: Roasting vegetables that have relatively the same density and are cut the same size helps to ensure even cooking. These roasted veggies are delicious to eat on their own, but they're also handy to have on hand for soups, salads and sides on busy nights. From Meredith Deeds.

• 3 lb. vegetables, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces (see lists below; group the same types of vegetables together so they all cook in the same amount of time)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1/2 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray two large rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, oil and salt. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Divide vegetables between the two baking sheets.

Roast until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, 40 to 50 minutes for dense vegetables, 20 to 30 minutes for crucifers, and 15 to 20 minutes for soft vegetables, tossing them and rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Root or dense vegetables: Carrots, beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, winter squash.

Crucifers: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.

Soft vegetables: Zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Easy Chicken Paprikash

Serves 6.

Note: Sautéing the onions until lightly browned and simmering the sauce to allow the flavors to blend give this 30-minute meal its slow-cooked flavor. From Meredith Deeds.

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 3 tbsp. Hungarian sweet paprika

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

• 2 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

• 3 c. shredded cooked chicken (from store-bought rotisserie chicken or home-roasted chicken)

• 2/3 c. sour cream

• Egg noodles, cooked

• Fresh herbs such as oregano or parsley, for garnish, if desired


Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until hot. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve over egg noodles or spaetzle and garnish with herbs as desired.

Slow Cooker Tomato, Navy Bean and Ham Hock Soup

Serves 6.

Note: Adding canned diced tomatoes to this hearty classic soup gives the broth a bright flavor that balances well with the smoky, rich ham hock. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 2 medium carrots, chopped

• 2 medium ribs celery, chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

• 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth

• 3 (15- to 16-oz.) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed

• 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

• 1 smoked ham hock or shank

• 2 bay leaves

• 3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley


In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes or until vegetables soften. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; cook and stir 1 minute. Transfer to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.

Add broth, beans, tomatoes, ham hock and bay leaves to slow cooker.

Cover; cook on low-heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until meat on ham hock is tender and easily separated from bone.

Remove ham hock and bay leaves. Let ham hock cool and separate the meat from the bone and skin. Discard bone, skin and any excess fat and tendon. Shred ham; return to slow cooker and stir. Discard bay leaves.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Stir in parsley and serve.